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Extraordinary military planes

The new age of submarines

Jaw-dropping helicopters

Next-gen race cars


The future of fast cars


Innovative aircraft designs

The power of superbikes

Digital Edition

Ultimate war machines

A look inside some of the world’s most incredible machines

ing Vehicles How It Works Book Of Amaz Fastest vehicles 008 World’s fastest vehicles

Take a look at some of the machines that have a serious need for speed

124 F-14 Tomcat 126 AH-64D Apache Longbow 128 Sikorsky MH-60 Black Hawk 130 Attack Helicopters 138 Tanks: 100 years of warfare

Land 016 Next-gen cars Discover the transport of tomorrow

024 Dragsters 026 Muscle cars evolved 030 Next-gen race cars 038 Pit-Bull VX 040 Eco cars evolved 042 Superbikes 046 Inside the ultimate RV 048 Fastest trains in the world

Air 058 Super jets The incredible technology in the sky

146 Stealth warships 150 Next-gen battleships

Historic 156 Concorde Inside the groundbreaking jet

158 Supermarine Spitfire 160 Lancaster bomber 162 Messerschmitt Me 262 164 F-86 Sabre 166 The Model T 168 The Flying Scotsman Locomotive 170 The Mayflower 172 HMS Victory 174 Bathyscaphe Trieste

066 Boeing 787 Dreamliner


070 Airbus 380 072 Solar planes 074 On board Air Force One 076 The new Concorde 080 On board a cargo plane 082 VTOL aircraft

Sea 088 Ocean hunters Meet the mechanic predators of the sea

096 XSR48 superboat 098 Hovercrafts 100 Supertankers explained 104 Extreme submarines


106 Amphibious machines

Military 112 Spies in the sky Surveillance planes cruising the skies

120 Sea Harrier 122 Mikoyan Mig-29 006





76 106

166 138



fastest vehicles

T S E T S A F S ’ D L R O W S E L C I H E V

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DID YOU KNOW? NASA’s unmanned X-43 reached Mach 9.8 in 2004 with a scramjet engine breathing supersonic air as an oxidiser

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azing machines High-speed wonders and am


16 Next-gen cars 

Get inside the cars of the future, and see the tech within

24 Dragsters 

The sprint kings that can reach 300mph in just four seconds


Muscle cars evolved

Discover what is inside the cars that ooze cool

30 Next-gen race cars 

Take a look at the concept designs of the world’s future F1 race cars


38 Pit-Bull VX 

See how this armoured response unit can stop criminals in their tracks

co cars 40 Eevolved 

The modern cars that are trying to save the environment, and look good doing it

iscover the 42 Dworld’s superbikes

et inside the 46 Gultimate RV 

An incredible camper van that brings a new meaning to travelling in style

world’s 48 The fastest trains 

They can’t guarantee these arrival times yet, but this could be the future of trains

The two-wheeled machines that satisfy speed demons’ need for speed

“Take a look at the most notable and advanced vehicles”

DID YOU KNOW? XxxxxxLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. xxxxxxx





26 015


Formula 1 vs Formula E Which is the future of top-level motor racing? They may sound like similar motorsport disciplines but Formula 1 (or F1) and Formula E (FE) are different entities altogether. F1 is the long-established championship, offering a global sport that takes the concept of single-seat racing to its most extreme. It has the fastest cars, the history dating back to 1950, and the legends that many generations of motorsporting fans look up to. FE, on the other hand, is something of a new, breakaway phenomenon. Started in 2014, FE uses fully-electric cars with an eye on sustaining energy rather than merely

consuming it. Confronting its biggest challenge, FE has sought to make e-racing an attractive proposition for spectators, and so the cars look very similar to their F1 counterparts. In recent years F1 has started to adopt more green-oriented tech too, with energy recuperation systems effectively dubbing the cars as hybrids. In 2014 the FIA (the governing body for F1) ordered that all cars must cut the amount of fuel they use in a race by a third.  FE is unlikely to be a threat to the commercial success of F1. This is because while F1 visits the

Hybrid technology The MP4-X has a petrol engine but is also powered by other means, including solar power and inductive coupling built into the racetrack.

Adaptive aerodynamics

Targeted adverts

The chassis of the car can change shape while on the move, adapting to the aerodynamic forces at play on the car at different speeds.

The MP4-X is covered in a digital billboard with adverts that are individually targeted based on your browsing habits.

The McLaren MP4-X concept

This next-gen Formula 1 vehicle hopes to shape the future of the sport

world’s best circuits, FE makes do with street circuits that don’t make for great television, with ugly barriers mapping out courses on bumpy, drain-lined roads rather than sweeping circuits with purpose-built race kerbs. Also, part of the allure of motor racing is the banshee sound of the hard-working engines in race cars, rather than the Scalextric-like whine of electric cars, which gives F1 the upper hand. So it’s unlikely that FE will take centre stage anytime soon, and we’ll more likely see an adoption of pure electric technologies by F1 teams in the coming years.

Driver tech

Closed cockpit design

Biotelemetry monitors the driver’s condition, including hydration and fatigue levels. Their race suit will be lightweight and energy-harvesting.

Building on current F1 designs, the driver of the MP4-X will be fully enclosed inside the car for protection.

Ground effect The MP4-X utilises the ground effect principle, with huge Venturi channels underneath hunkering the car to the track.

Cockpits: improving driver safety F1 cars have open cockpits where the driver merely steps into the car. However, while that means spectators can see more of what the driver is doing, the driver’s head is exposed. This puts them at substantial risk in the event of a crash or if he or she comes into contact with loose debris or car parts. The tragic accident of Marussia driver Jules Bianchi in 2014 led to teams taking action to dramatically redesign the cockpit with safety in mind. Two designs have emerged: the ‘halo’ design pioneered by Mercedes and Ferrari, which looks like the straps of a flip flop straddling the driver and protecting them from anything right ahead, or the closed, clear ‘aeroscreen’ piloted by Red Bull. The FIA has ruled in favour of the halo, which will be used in 2017, although the aeroscreen may also be approved in the future.


Open cockpits, which leave the driver’s head exposed, could soon be banished

DID YOU KNOW? Formula E drivers swap cars during a race as one car cannot hold enough charge

Formula E’s future car Mahindra Racing’s concept is a peek into the future of the sport

Carbon-fibre body Mahindra’s concept has a body made entirely of carbon fibre, meaning it is strong and light.

Aero-scoops This concept experiments with a scoop-shaped rear instead of the traditional wing.

Enclosed cockpit This keeps drivers safe from flying debris but the transparent top gives them the same uninterrupted views and allows spectators to see in.

Reduced height

360-degree view Cameras positioned around the McLaren feed live images to the driver’s helmet, giving them a 360-view of the car through its walls, much like the tech on a fighter jet.

Wheels enclosed into the body help reduce drag, making the car slip through the air even faster.

Reduced drag Enhancing this ground effect, the wheel guards let air flow over the moving wheels rather than into them, meaning there’s also less air resistance on the car.

Formula E cars are so quiet that DJ sets often accompany the races

Noise: pollution or part of the experience? The subject of noise creates something of a divide in motosport. For racing fans, the powerful roar coming from a car is all part of the experience, but there’s a wider responsibility concerning noise pollution to consider (not to mention hearing damage). For the time being, it seems that fan experience is prevailing; after Formula 1 cars switched to turbocharging in 2015, there were mass complaints from spectators as to the flat sound of the new engines. Changes to exhaust pipe regulation for the 2016 season mean some of that signature barrage of sound has been recreated, though many fans remain unconvinced. Over in Formula E, bosses contemplated running cars with fake engine noises to mask the uninspiring battery whine for spectators. This idea was later ditched, but whether fans will learn to love this eerily quiet motorsport as much as rowdy F1 remains to be seen.

© WIKI; Greg Chiasson; McLaren; Motori Italia

Hidden wheels

The majority of the concept car’s body is no taller than the wheels, meaning the car will enjoy an impressively low centre of gravity, ideal for fast cornering.

Turbocharged engines have altered the characteristic roar of F1 races


Air Gesture driven

The screens will be gesture driven, rather than using physical devices or remote controls.


Screens are set up around the cabin so that only specific people can see each screen.

Design: Technicon

Panoramic views that bring the outside in Apart from using newer materials and streamlining, actual aeroplane design has changed very little over the years. However, Technicon Design is an international company trying to change all that with its concept of a windowless jet called the IXION. Gareth Davies, design director at Technicon Design, explains his vision for future planes: “Windows are complicated things to put into aeroplanes. Each window can add 15 kilograms (33 pounds) to the overall weight and they’re not aerodynamic. Our plan is to remove the windows and fit 4K HD cameras to the wings and body that can display images of whatever’s outside onto flexible OLED screens inside the plane.” This would give an uninterrupted panoramic view from the inside, while reducing weight and simplifying construction. A myriad of potential cabin moods and themes would be opened up: ”You’ll be able to control what is displayed on the screens from your smartphone.” This could result in a future where passengers travelling over a featureless ocean could be treated to sights like the New York skyline, a desert or even Godzilla taking on downtown Tokyo. If you don’t fancy looking at the same view as everyone else, the concept also suggests parallax screens that can only be seen by the person sitting in a particular seat. To create a truly flexible seating arrangement, passengers would be tracked so their screen follows them to whatever seat they sit in. Solar panels would also be employed to power internal electronics. This would generate alternative power for the lowvoltage systems on board when the engines are idle and save five per cent of the total fuel used. The designs challenge conventional thinking on every level. “We wanted to imagine a possible next step forward”, he continues. “The first stage in any innovation is imagination.”


Parallax screens

Moveable tech

Each passenger is tracked so they can view their own screen wherever they sit.


Panoramic views

Windowless design The idea behind the windowless design has two main advantages. First, it makes the plane easier to build and more streamlined. Second, and more exciting, is it lets you do crazy and cool things like the image shown here on the right. 4K HD cameras mounted on the wings and body of the plane will be connected to OLED panels in the wall, which will display the outside images in real-time. This is done in the same way as a video camera can display images on a TV using an HDMI cable. The video is taken, sent down a cable to the screens where they are enlarged and reappear as a high-definition live feed. The screens can also be operated by the passengers, where gesture controls will allow you to make presentations to a group, hold video conferences or watch a film on the wall of the plane. Welcome to the future!

DID YOU KNOW? Parallax tech is responsible for webpages that move at different speeds as you scroll down, creating a 3D effect

Smartphone enabled

Bringing the outside inside

Images from a smartphone The images from the external can also be displayed on cameras will be displayed on the screens. OLED screens inside the plane.

Solar panels

Internal electronics will be powered by solar panels on the plane’s body.

OLED screens

Windowless body

Thin, flexible plastic screens replace the traditional porthole windows, giving passengers panoramic views.

The lack of windows makes the IXION easier to build, lighter and more streamlined.

Passengers could be treated to a panoramic view of the world outside their plane. Would you dare look down?


4K HD cameras will take real-time video of the world outside the plane.

Solar-powered planes How planes harness the Sun’s energy

Silicon sandwich A solar panel is made up of two sheets of silicon, split up into lots of photovoltaic cells.


Top layer

The top layer is coated with phosphorus, which increases the number of free electrons on that side.

Electron flow

Sunlight strength

A photon of light hitting the phosphorus layer knocks an electron off the top sheet.

Bottom layer

This layer will be coated with boron, which decreases the number of free electrons.

Power production

This squeezes the electron onto a conductive metal plate that converts the electron into usable energy.

Electric field ‘Hole’ flow

As one sheet has a positive charge and the other a negative charge, an electric field is generated between them.



Airbus A At around $300 million each, it’s the largest and most expensive passenger plane in the world. Yet the Airbus A380 is also supposed to be the most fuel efficient, noise reducing and eco-friendly people carrier in its class

The Rolls-Royce manufactured engines will keep the A380 in the sky


uilt in France, Germany, Spain and the UK and assembled in Toulouse, the A380 is a truly panEuropean project. It is an attempt not just to revolutionise long haul flying but aircraft design and construction itself. From the carbon fibre reinforced plastic that makes up roughly 25 per cent of the structure, to its unique wide-body fuselage, the A380 has been designed to set new standards, so much so that even major airports like Heathrow will need a multi-million pound refit before they will be able to handle it. With an operating range of 15,200km (enough to fly non-stop from New York to Hong Kong) and a cruising speed of Mach 0.85 (around 560mph), the A380 will open up new routes and possibilities for international travel, but the real breakthrough is in its sheer size and ambition. Whichever way you look at it, the Airbus A380 is massive. With a wingspan of nearly 262 feet (that’s 1 ¾ football pitches) and a maximum takeoff weight


At the controls of the world’s largest jet

of 1.2 million points, it affords 50 per cent more floor space than its nearest rivals. The A380 has many potential configurations, from its maximum passenger capacity of 853 passengers to the current layout of 555 passengers in three classes, which is still significantly more than the 416 that can be carried by the current long-haul frontrunner, the Boeing 747-400. But what about claims that this long-haul behemoth is actually environmentally friendly, something many green campaigners maintain is a contradiction in terms? As always, there is truth on both sides. As one of only a handful of commercial aircraft to adhere to stringent ISO 14001 corporate certification, the A380 is at the forefront of environmental aircraft design. With 33 per cent more seats than a 747-400, it carries more passengers while consuming less than three litres of fuel per passenger over 100km, roughly equivalent to a

family car and 17 per cent less than a 747. Meanwhile the high-efficiency engines developed by RollsRoyce, General Electric and Pratt & Whitney produce only about 75g of CO2 per passenger kilometre, which is also less than a 747 (although Boeing would maintain not less than its own planned successor, the 787 ‘Dreamliner’). On the other hand, those figures are dependent on flying at near maximum capacity, which few of the A380’s initial buyers are expecting for several years. Meanwhile, environmentalists argue that the combination of the millions of passengers who have already used the A380, the commercial pressure to fill all those extra seats and the airport congestion and urbanisation caused, merely compounds the environmental damage created by any expansion in long haul flying. Either way, people are going to be discussing the pros and cons of this aerial juggernaut for decades to come.

DID YOU KNOW? The A380 can fly non-stop from New York to Hong Kong

A380 The luxurious interior can make you forget you’re in a plane!

The two-storey cabins can hold up to 853 passengers

The statistics…

Airbus A380 Weight (empty): 610,700lbs Length: 73m (240ft) Wingspan: 79.75m (261.8ft) Maximum number of passengers: 853 (currently configured for a max 555) Max speed (at cruise altitude): 945km/h, 587mph, 510 knots Maximum payload : 90,800kg (200,000lbs)

The A380 seen flying over Broughton, where the wings are built

Developing the A380 Although the development of the A3XX series was only formally announced in 1994, it had been on various drawing boards since back in 1988, initially as part of a top secret Ultra High Capacity Airliner project designed to break the dominance of the mighty Boeing 747. During its complex genesis it went through phases of being a joint Very Large Commercial Transport (VLCT) study with Boeing and a revolutionary ‘flying wing’ design before assuming the oval double-deck form it boasts today. This was finally agreed upon because it was deemed to provide more passenger volume than a traditional single-deck design as proving more cost effective than the VLCT study and Boeing’s brand new 787. Built in 16 manufacturing sites across Europe, constructing the A380 is a logistical nightmare. The front and rear fuselage sections have to be shipped from Hamburg to the UK while the wings are built in Bristol and Broughton and transported by barge to Mostyn. Meanwhile, the belly and tail sections are built in Cádiz and then taken to Bordeaux. Eventually all these parts must be transported by barge, road and rail to Toulouse where the aircraft is pieced together. Along the way, roads need to be widened, cargo ships refitted and barges specially built to accommodate the parts. The finished aircraft must then be flown back to Hamburg for painting and any other finishing touches. It’s not just logistics that have proven problematic. The A380’s development coincided first with a financial crisis in the Far East and more recently the global economic downturn, affecting both development cost and potential markets. Originally scheduled to take eight years and $8.8 billion to develop, it has so far cost an estimated $15 billion, with development of the freight version, the A380-800F, first postponed and then suspended. Meanwhile the break-even point for the passenger version, the A380-800, has risen from 270 to over 420 units, of which 200 have been ordered and around 20 delivered, most recently to the Saudi Arabian airline, Saudia. The A380-800 made its maiden flight on 27 April 2005 from Toulouse and its first commercial flight from Singapore to Sydney on 25 October 2007.



The British Type 45 has a displacement of 8,000 tons and can carry a crew of around 190

The firepower on the latest battleships is mind-boggling. We explore the technology transforming 21st-century naval warfare


f you thought that the golden age of naval combat came to an end 200 years ago, then clearly somebody forgot to tell the national navies of today. In fact, a wave of state-of-theart, armed-to-the-teeth battleships are currently emerging from shipbuilding yards with a singular aim in mind: total domination of the seas. From the brand-new and brutal Type 45 destroyers being pushed out of British dockyards, through to the almost sci-fi Zumwalt-class battleships emerging in the USA, and on to the cruising carrier vessels sitting like small islands in Earth’s oceans, battleships are being produced en masse and to a more advanced spec than ever before. Far from the basic heavyweights of bygone centuries, required simply to go toe-to-toe with


each other in a deadly game of broadsides, today’s warships need to take down a variety of threats, whether at sea, on land or in the air, and they need to do so at extreme range. As such, step onto a battleship today – be it a frigate, destroyer or corvette – and you’ll find an arsenal of insane weapons systems. There are cannons that can fire over distances of 95 kilometres (60 miles) and deliver a guided smart munition to a target with pinpoint accuracy, as well as Gatling guns that can automatically track a target moving at hundreds of miles per hour and then fire explosive bullets at up to 1,100 metres (3,610 feet) per second to take it down. Missile launch systems not only increase the vessel’s stealth but are capable of launching a wide variety of city block-levelling missiles

directly into the heart of enemy encampments in minutes from a safe distance, while naval guns are capable of subjecting a target to continuous bombardment with high-explosive shells with controlled abandon. All this is but a taste of the weaponry being fitted to the most advanced 21st-century warships. The heavy armament of vessels currently knows no bounds, with even coastguard fleets, convoy vehicles and civilian support ships being outfitted with some form of militarygrade offensive weaponry. Clearly, controlling the world’s waters is not as old-fashioned as the history books would have us believe. In this feature we take a look at the various types of battleship taking to the seas and the weapon systems that are revolutionising not just naval combat but warfare in general.

DID YOU KNOW? A Zumwalt-class destroyer costs around ÂŁ2.4bn ($3.8bn) to build

Rules of engagement The key stages and technology that decide the outcome of a modern naval battle

Threats Modern battleships are designed to engage a number of threats, including high-speed jet aircraft, rival battleships and deep-sea submarines.

Detection To engage any of these targets first they need to be detected – something achieved via orbiting GPS satellites, radar and sonar communication systems.

Battleship types



One of the smallest types, the corvette is a lightly armed and manoeuvrable vessel used for coastal operations. Stealth corvettes are now becoming popular too.

Offensive Defensive If attacked, a battleship can deploy decoy systems like flares and countering anti-missile munitions, or directly engage incoming threats with smart autocannons.

When on the offensive, a battleship can engage these targets with guided or unguided missiles, explosive shells and deadly torpedoes.

More traditional 41cm (16in) naval guns on board the USS North Carolina





Lightly armed, medium-sized ships generally used to protect other military or civilian vessels. Recently, frigates have been re-focused to take out submarines.

Large and heavily armed, destroyers are typically outfitted for anti-submarine, anti-aircraft and anti-surface warfare, and can remain at sea for months on end.

A high-explosive guided torpedo is projected from a US battleship USS Iowa unloads a volley of explosive shells from its Mark 7 naval guns



The cruiser is an armed-to-the-teeth multi-role vessel akin to a modern destroyer. While cruisers are still in use, they have largely been superseded now.



Ocean-going leviathans, carriers are the largest battleship. Their primary role is as a seagoing airbase, launching combat aircraft, but they also come heavily armed.


How it Works Bookazine 1344 (Sampler)  

You can subscribe to this magazine @

How it Works Bookazine 1344 (Sampler)  

You can subscribe to this magazine @